Jalna, India and Tokyo, Japan
April 24, 2012
India-based Krishidhan Seeds, an agri-biotech and plant breeding company that develops commercial hybrid seeds for Indian agriculture market since three decades and Hokko Chemical Company of Tokyo, which is pioneer in crop protection and fine chemical product research & development today announced that they have signed an agreement to develop insect resistant and herbicide tolerant traits in major key crops. Under the terms of the agreement, Krishidhan receives exclusive rights from Hokko group to develop and sell multiple crop products that contain the novel patented glufosinate resistant gene. The novel gene has been found effective in both laboratory and green house environments. Krishidhan will stack its own indigenous insect resistant & other herbicide tolerant genes to develop biotic stress tolerant crops like corn, soybean, rice, wheat, eggplant, hot pepper, onion and tomato that will be resistant to both insects and herbicides and commercialise the leads by 2015-16.
Krishidhan’s insect resistant traits enable the crop to resist broad spectrum insect attacks and have durable protection under diverse agro-climatic conditions. Insect resistant genes have been tested in model systems and in-vitro bioassays and have been found to be effective against major insect pests of corn, rice, tomato and eggplant. Herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops will offer farmers a vital tool in fighting weeds and are compatible with no-till methods, which help preserve topsoil. This will give farmers the flexibility to apply herbicides only when needed, also control total input of herbicides and to use herbicides with preferred environmental characteristics.
In 2011, India planted 10.48 million hectares of biotech crops and the global acreage increased substantially to 158 million hectares. Products that contain the novel glufosinate-resistance gene stacked with other genes would be among first indigenous traits incubated for developing world especially India. In 2011 alone, herbicide tolerant crops occupied 93.9 million hectares or 59% of the 160 million hectares of biotech crops planted globally. The most common are the glyphosate and glufosinate tolerant varieties. Krishidhan envisages developing novel indigenous herbicide tolerant and insect resistant traits.
“Herbicide-tolerance is a key essential trait and dire need for sustaining agriculture production in India due to increasing urbanization that has resulted in shortage of farm labours,” said Anup Karwa, Director- Life Sciences of Krishidhan. “Development of novel indigenous Glufosinate tolerance combined with our proprietary marker free insect resistant & other herbicide tolerant technologies will help improve on-farm economics for small and marginal farmers of India and offer them more indigenous technology choices, thus, Hokko Chemical’s committed role in discovering the novel gene makes them ideal partner for us to incubate innovation driven indigenous research & development.”
“Integrating Krishidhan’s insect resistant & other herbicide tolerant technologies and capabilities to develop and sell crops with improved traits aligns perfectly with our plans to bring innovative research leads to logical conclusion” said, Nagamatsu Shoji of Hokko Group. “Integrating technology and promoting preservation and environment protection is also our company’s practice for ushering farmer’s prosperity”.
Based in Jalna, India, Krishidhan Seeds is a pioneer & dynamic agricultural biotech company delivering high quality seeds for the Indian seeds market. Over 3 decades old now, the Krishidhan Group of Companies is involved in basic and applied research including plant breeding & bio-technology followed by quality seed production, processing, packing and marketing of high quality seeds of Cotton, Cereals, Pulses, Oilseeds and Vegetables.
Hokko Chemical Industry Co,. Ltd. was founded in 1950 as one of chemical manufacturers in Japan. We have realized steady development in main business categories, including production and sale of crop protection products and fine chemical products in domestic and world market. Today, Hokko is expanding into new business line such as an herbicide resistant gene and a valuable component for human health using own advanced bio-technology.